The Nigerian government and in particular its various security agencies cannot afford to take lightly the serious threats issued by a Niger Delta militant group as it concerns the corruption trial of the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick and four other officials.
A coalition of Niger Delta youths under the aegis of Delta State Ethnic Nationalities Forum said in a widely circulated statement that those behind former sports minister Solomon Dalung and NANF president Harrison Jalla “shall be met with stiff resistance”
“The details of their plots to undermine the good work that the Amaju-led NFF has done to enhance and advance the development of football in Nigeria are being carefully collated and shall be met with stiff resistance if they do not desist from their actions.”
The group went on a robust defence of Pinnick and the NFF executive committee.
Jalla, one of those specially mentioned in this statement, has since reacted to these threats by instructing his lawyers to formally complain to the Nigerian police.
He also alleged: “Who is Amaju Pinnick to threaten me in Itsekiri Land?
“After using the hierarchy of Itsekeri leadership to put undue pressure on me to no avail, Amaju Pinnick has hired and induced a certain group to threaten my life.
“Amaju Pinnick as at 1999 was living in a one-room apartment on No 1 Sido Street Warri.
“Let him explain to the anti-graft agencies where his sudden wealth came from.”
He continued: ”My fight to ensure good governance predated Pinnick’s administration.
“No amount of threat, intimidation and blackmail can scare me.
“I am a Warri boy, we are not born to be cowards.”
The threats by the group from Niger Delta, which is notorious for its militancy, must now be addressed by the security agencies because they are not empty and have been addressed to patriotic Nigerians who have taken upon themselves to fight for President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption.
It is a known fact that if we do not fight corruption in whatever sector, corruption and anarchy will kill us.
Those behind this group must therefore be fished out and brought to book before they cause any anarchy in this country simply because Pinnick and his group have now been asked by the courts to account for their stewardship.
The protests by three national teams – the Super Eagles, the Super Falcons and Flying Eagles – overseas do not suggest the NFF have been accountable.
Also, the desperation by Pinnick and his group to evade justice by any means possible has clearly shown they have a lot to hide.
It explains why militants have now been engaged to this never-ending drama that must be resolved in a court of justice.
The bench warrant issued by a Federal High Court for the arrest of the accused NFF officials will be vacated when they finally appear in court and are arraigned.
So, why this hide-and-seek drama yet again?